For Sale is a classic bidding card game that’s been around since the late 90’s. I originally played it about 5 or 6 years ago. The concept is straight-forward, bid on houses and sell those houses for as much as you can get in the second round.
For Sale Autorama takes this formula, adding new layers along with a third round in the game. In this review, I’ll share why this new implementation of the game is quickly becoming our family’s most played game.
In For Sale Autorama, players begin the game with cash on hand, ready to hire a staff to help them with their automobile dealings. “Advisor cards” are the first step to getting the car of your dreams, then unloading it for the most money. advisor cards are numbered 1 to 30. Depending on the player count, some of these are randomly removed from the game.
In the center of the table, advisor cards are rolled out, one for each player in the game. Players use their starting cash to bid and hire these advisors. If a player ever passes during this phase, they’ll receive the lowest number advisor in the row. They’ll pay 1/2 of their bid, rounded down.
The player who bids the most and doesn’t pass, receives the highest numbered advisor in the row. They have to pay the full amount they bid for that advisor. Refill the center of the table and keep bidding on advisor cards until the deck is empty.
Other than the update to the automobile theme, advisor cards are the biggest change to For Sale. Advisor cards have special abilities that trigger at different points during the game.
For instance, Fleet Managers give players the ability to surpass the highest advisor card in the game if they’re willing to spend $3,000 in the car buying phase. Lawyers give players the flexibility to play 2 vehicle cards at one time, taking one of them back into their hand.
You’re not just bidding on the value of these advisor cards. You’re also bidding on the abilities they give you moving forward.
New and Used Cars
In phase 2, players use the advisors they won to gain vehicles. Similar to the last phase, vehicle cards roll out in the center of the table based on the player count. Players bid openly, using their advisors as the turn moves around the table.
Vehicles are numbered 1 through 30 (removing some based on player count). The player who bid the lowest numbered advisor will receive the lowest numbered vehicle in the line up. This is pretty self explanatory.
Ultimately, players want a strong hand of vehicles as they go into the final round of the game. These cards have no special abilities tied to them, so the number at the top of the card matters a lot.
In the final phase of the game, checks are rolled out in the center of the table. Checks range from $0 all the way to $15,000. This phase is different because players will play a vehicle simultaneously at the table.
The checks are given to players based on what vehicle they played, going lowest to highest. When this phase ends, players count their checks, left over cash from the beginning of the game and calculate any end game effects from their advisor cards.
The Luxury Package
For Sale Autorama keeps the purity of the original bidding game and gives it an upgrade. The additional game phase and the advisor card abilities really makes this game shine. For Sale Autorama is more complex without feeling drastically more complicated.
This version of the game will connect with people who enjoy a slightly deeper strategy and don’t mind the added time commitment. While the original game was easily a 15 to 20 minute filler game, For Sale Autorama will clock in at around 25 to 30 minutes. There’s more to consider and players usually take a minute to weigh out their options.
Just because you own the highest advisor card doesn’t mean that you have the best one. The distribution of abilities in the first phase of the game makes players think about the long-term strategy over just grabbing a high card.
For Sale Autorama keeps the purity of the original bidding game and gives it an upgrade. The additional game phase and the advisor card abilities really makes this game shine.
The small icon on the advisor card shows which phase their ability can be used. Some of the most important cards end up being those that give you end game scoring perks. In my opinion, passing up these end game scoring cards can cost you the game. When a single player winds up with these abilities, the final score spread can be huge.
Two Ways to Play
For Sale Autorama gives players two ways to play. If you’re looking for the faster speed of the original For Sale, simply skip the first phase of the game with the advisor cards. Playing phases 2 and 3 is identical to the original game with a cool vehicle retheme.
The artwork and color palette that artist Kwanchai Moriya brings to this game is fantastic. I really love the variety of crazy vehicles in the game. Instead of the coins in the original game, little cardboard 1’s and 5’s will make up the players starting money supply.
While the larger box is not as portable as the original game, we still traveled with For Sale Autorama during a family vacation. Our teenage kids picked up on the game quickly and really enjoyed it at 5 players. Even though the game comes with a proxy player card when playing with just 2-players, it’s definitely the weakest of the player counts.
For Sale Autorama is an excellent upgrade to a classic card game that just about anyone can jump into.
This game was provided to us by the publisher for review. Read more about our review policies at One Board Family.
- Love the artwork and color palette from Kwanchai Moriya
- Advisor cards add some deeper strategies
- End game scoring abilities can lead to big points
- The added mechanics and game phase slows the game down
- Box is larger and less portable than the original game